Lennes: Republican Health Bill Would Hurt The Most Vulnerable

Jul 9, 2017

Commentary: It would be poetic justice that Congressman Steve Pearce spends some time in a nursing home. New Mexico has a dismal ranking of 49th in the indicator for “affordability and access to long-term services and supports,” based on the cost of nursing home care and long term care insurance.  Medicaid pays for most of New Mexico elderly people in nursing homes.


Now our Congressman Pearce in a disgraceful gesture to these elderly people has voted for steep cuts in Medicaid as part of the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Under federal law, state Medicaid programs are required to cover nursing home care.  Under Pearce supported legislation, New Mexico will have to drastically decrease the amount they can pay or restrict eligibility for coverage. A combination of longer life spans and spiraling health costs has left 64 percent of Americans in nursing homes dependent on Medicaid. 


Congressman Steve Pearce, who got wealthy by milking his years as Congressman, has undermined  New Mexicans, who have worked their whole lives some with strenuous jobs and paid into the system.  Now Pearce is supporting a system that fails them in the last years of their life.